Indoor Air Quality
Moisture and Air Quality Problems
Excess moisture can result in problems. Moisture problems in a home bring about unwanted consequences. Apart from the obvious leak damages, another concern is the potential for mold growth (mold spores) which leads to air quality problems. Although mold spores are ubiquitous in nature, higher concentration due to mold growth in your home can cause some unintended health issues. The most economical and effective way to combat mold growth is to fix the moisture issue. There are two causes of moisture problems in your home: leaks and condensation.
What to do when there is a leak.
- Locate where the moisture is coming
- Adopt prevention measures to avoid excess moisture in the home
- Perform regular maintenance checks and repair minor defects that can cause leaks
- Hire a qualified contractor for major repairs
- Monitor remediation to ensure problems have been solved
Condensation, where and how to prevent it.
Approximately 10 to 50 litres of moisture is released in your home every day from normal activities such as: showering, cooking, people, pets and basement dampness. Moisture can also be released by: improperly vented clothes dryers, faulty/improper setting of humidifiers, excess plants. During heating season, lots of moisture can be trapped inside the home. Newer homes are a greater concern as they are built with less air infiltration and this can affect indoor air quality. In the winter, high humidity in your home can cause condensation on cold surfaces, leading to moisture problems. Here are a few strategies to help reduce moisture:
- Reduce indoor moisture sources by installing low flow aerators
- Monitor and adjust humidifiers as needed during the heating season to keep the humidity at acceptable levels
- Keep the air circulation going in all rooms of the house. This includes having the drapes and blinds open during heating season
- Keep adequate ventilation (especially for the newer tighter homes) as this helps rid the home of excess moisture as well as other pollutants
- Install a dehumidifier in the basement if necessary
- To Learn more about mold and the impact on your health and home, Click here.
Although radon is a naturally occurring gas in our environment, it is also the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in Canada, according to Health Canada. Remedial measures should be undertaken in a home whenever the average annual radon concentration exceeds 200 becquerels per cubic meter (200 Bq/m³). Many Canadians have had their homes tested for radon, and you should, too. To learn more about Radon, Click here